Two print shows that deserve your attention are going up in St. Paul this week . First, the College of Visual Arts Gallery will open its biennial illustration exhibition tomorrow, “Illo Minn: Volume Three,” for which it will showcase the work of 25 notable Minnesota illustrators. Each artist will exhibit a print illustration and the original art from which it was derived, along with another original piece of their choosing, and their contribution to the silent auction (about which, more in a second).
The biennial offers a handpicked sampling of the many talented artists we have working in illustration and design in our state, whose work is published in national glossies and big city newspapers, the centerpiece of major ad campaigns, and adorning various and sundry books and album covers all over the world. The included artists spotlight the breadth and diversity of the field and feature a mix of printmaking styles and techniques. Find a full list of illustrators included in this year’s “Illo Minn” exhibition here.
The biennial show is a reliably good one, but I’ve especially got my eye on the silent auction offerings. For this year’s fundraising component of the show (all proceeds go toward the CVA Scholarship Fund), the college asked each illustrator to decorate the cover of a Moleskine notebook. These individually embellished Moleskins will be on the block during the exhibition’s opening reception tomorrow night (and available for view in the show), and, if you want one of your own, you can place bids throughout the evening.
“Illo Minn: Volume Three” opens with a reception and silent auction on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. (the auction closes at 7:30 p.m.) at the College of Visual Arts gallery, 173 Western Ave. North, St. Paul, Minn. There will be a panel discussion with some of the artists in the show in the gallery Feb. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m., and the exhibition will be on view through March 3. Gallery hours are Wednesday and Friday noon to 6 p.m.; Thursday noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
The second exhibition of note, “For the Love of Love,” opens Friday at Big Table Studio (a design and print shop profiled here just a few weeks ago). This one’s a themed, group poster show held in concert with a fundraiser hosted by the neighboring venue, Amsterdam Bar & Hall, and the coalition of organizations and professional partners behind Minnesotans United for All Families. Funds from these events will go toward the campaign against the Marriage Amendment, which, if enacted, will amend the Minnesota state constitution so that marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman, effectively banning marriage between same-sex couples; the Marriage Amendment bill passed both houses of the state legislature last May and will be voted on by the public in the 2012 election.
On the Big Table’s website, proprietor Peet Fetsch calls “For the Love of Love” their Valentine’s Day show, and writes, “Valentine’s Day is about love, no matter who that person is. Let’s show the world what we believe love is.” The artists and designers involved in Big Table’s shows are always stellar and many of them particularly adept at creating effective political poster designs; I’m curious to see the work they’ve produced for this cause.
“For the Love of Love” poster show opens Friday, Feb. 3 with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. at Big Table Studio, 375 Wabasha St. North, St. Paul, Minn. The Minnesotans United fundraising event is that night, but the exhibition will be on view all month in the studio gallery. On Facebook, you can find information about the affiliated St. Paul Professionals Fundraiser, held Friday night at Amsterdam Bar & Hall and hosted by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the coalition of organizations behind Minnesotans United.